And it’s your fault not theirs.

You’ve run a thorough and intensive recruitment process. You received high quality applications, conducted a number of interviews and appointed a real gem. You can’t wait for them to commence, they are going to be a brilliant addition to your team given their expertise, knowledge and skills. Plus they are even the right culture fit!

Even with all of the boxes ticked your amazing new recruit could still be destined to fail and it could be all your fault. Not the candidates, not the recruiters but your fault if you make these four key blunders. What message are you really sending to your new recruit?

1. You are not prepared 

Sadly I see it all too often; a new recruit arrives for their first day of work, they are pumped to get started, to settle in to their new role, to learn the ropes and to meet their colleagues. But you’ve been so busy you haven’t had a chance to give them another thought. There is no computer for them, an email address hasn’t been set up, you have no logins for them to your software and to make matters worse you have to arrange to purchase new licences and its going to take a week or so. There is no desk for them yet, you were planning on rearranging current seating arrangements but you ran out of time and simply got side-tracked. You can come up with every excuse under the sun but ultimately your actions have left your new recruit feeling under-valued, under-appreciated and you have squashed their enthusiasm. Chances are they are now second guessing their decision to join your organisation, they are wondering how on earth you can run a good business if you can’t even get a computer organised for them. First day and they already have a bad taste in their mouth. The longer it takes you to get them settled in the worse the bad taste will be for them.

2. You change the goal posts 

By changing the goal posts I’m referring to changing the expectations of the candidate; their role, key responsibilities, KPI’s etc from what you told them going through the recruitment process. If this is the case you have done one of two things. You either got the recruitment process wrong and recruited to the wrong job brief because you had a lack of clarity around what it was you really needed. Or, now that your new recruit is on board little issues in other areas keep cropping up here there and everywhere. You know your new recruit has skills to deal with these spot fires but it wasn’t what you had recruited them to do. In fact the nature of these spot fires was one of the key reasons they left their last employer because they wanted to step up, extend their skills or have a change. But you push these issues on to the new recruit anyway because at the moment it is quicker and easier for them to perform these tasks than it is to teach and train them to do the actual job they were recruited to do. While your new recruit might not mind helping out with these tasks initially, if you don’t get the on-boarding process back on track for the role they were actually recruited to your new recruit won’t hang around long. They probably already have this niggling feeling in the back of their mind and are questioning their decision to join your organisation.

3. You are just too busy

Everybody is busy these days! If we are honest though, it all comes down to priorities. Why does it feel like the minute a new recruit starts that everything goes crazy and problems that require your attention crop up, or you win some new business and are completely under the pump to deliver? Your new recruit – no matter what – needs to be your priority. You won’t get a second chance at this one. Lose the engagement of your new recruit in these first few days or weeks or months and it will be near impossible to get it back. They’ll be back looking on job boards before you even realise it. And if you think you are busy now trying to on-board them wait until you have to go back through the recruitment process again because your new recruit just quit! No new recruit can be expected to transition successfully in to a new role without having you dedicate the time to helping them settle in. If you don’t make the time your new recruit will be left feeling disjointed, they won’t really know what they should be or shouldn’t be doing and they will feel more like a burden instead of feeling like a new, valued and contributing team member. Block out chunks of time in your calendar that will allow you to still get your other priorities completed yet spend quality time on-boarding them.

4. You don’t communicate and provide feedback

Regular communication and feedback are crucial for a successful employee – employer relationship but it is even more important during the on-boarding and transitioning period. Your new recruit will want to know how they are doing. Are they meeting your expectations? Are they delivering to the required performance standards? Which areas do they need to keep working on to improve? If you don’t provide enough communication and feedback during this period it’s highly likely your employee will end up going off on their own tangent based on what they think they are doing right and could end up heading down the wrong path. Regular communication will also allow them to share their ideas, ask questions and with their fresh set of eyes they will see new and different opportunities. Leaving your new recruit tucked away at their desk with no opportunity to communicate with you or get feedback will leave them feeling isolated, out of touch and undervalued. If it’s easier, schedule the time, get it in the diary, make it happen. Be committed to providing feedback.

The on-boarding and transition period is crucial to the success and longevity of employment for your new recruit. Once your new recruit starts to experience these negative feelings it can be very hard to re-engage them. Kick off on the right foot and be committed to supporting your new recruit and making them feel valued and an important part of the team. No matter how good your recruitment process was, if you don’t follow through with a well-executed and thorough on-boarding program your new recruit is much less likely to hang around for the long term. Remember, first impressions count, what impression are you leaving with your new recruit?

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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